College football recruiting is a war zone. Just about anything goes with schools trying to land a player that could lead the program to the promised land and a College Football Playoff berth. Sometimes, terrible roommates force top recruits to leave before ever putting on their shoulder pads. Other times, offering scholarships to six-month-old babies is the only way to get ahead of the curve.
That’s exactly what happened when Theodore High School linebacker Demouy Kennedy visited the Crimson Tide over the weekend.
Kennedy, listed by 247Sports as a four-star recruit and the No. 2 player in the state of Alabama for the 2020 recruiting cycle, committed to play for Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers last summer. The 6-foot-3 inside linebacker said that his initial commitment was out of excitement and being new to the recruiting process, so he de-committed in March 2019.
However, his trip to Tuscaloosa didn’t take long to get that excitement rolling again.
Here’s the story of an epic SEC recruiting flip, according to Mark Heim of AL.com:
Of the recruiting trips Kennedy took, he was most impressed with Alabama’s facilities, citing the barber shop, game room and weight room as examples.
Perhaps even more memorable was Saban’s pitch to Kennedy during his visit.
They were standing next to two tables, he said. One was clear of anything. The other had championship rings on it.
“I liked when he said, ‘Would you rather gamble on this table (pointing to the ring table) or the other table?’ I said, ‘I’m gambling on the ring table.'”
Kennedy was one of only five juniors named Class 7A First-Team All-State in 2018 after helping his Theodore Bobcats to a state championship. He returned an interception 80 yards for a score and led a defense that allowed only 50 yards of offense in that title game.
Sounds like another dominant Alabama defender, huh?
Kennedy’s verbal commitment to Alabama came after listing his top five of Auburn, LSU, Georgia and TCU. Kennedy also held offers from Florida State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among many others.
The tradition of elite recruits continues for the University of Alabama as one of the nation’s best linebackers appears to be staying in his home state. All it took was flashing some hardware to get him rolling with the Tide, too.